Extraordinary Session of the Regional Steering Committee Meeting Held in Comoros

Moroni, Comoros – An Extraordinary Session of the Regional Steering Committee of the Integrated Water Resources Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean Small Islands Developing State project was held in Retaj Hotel, Moroni, Comoros on 26 May 2017. The one day meeting gathered high-level government officials from the six participating countries, national stakeholders and representatives from the UN agencies involved in the initiative.

The main goal of the meeting was to meet with all partners one last time before the final Regional Steering Committee and discuss pending issues that need to be addressed beforehand. Other important items of business discussed and approved included UN Environment and UNDP work plans, financial expenditures, progress reports and the annual budget for 2017.

During the event, a dedicated session was allocated to the partner UN Agencies to provide guidance to the countries on the closure of the project, the terminal evaluation process and the design of a potential second phase for the project.

The next and final session of the Regional Steering Committee meeting will be held  from 07 to 09 November 2017 in Sao Tome and Principe.

Because of their small size and limited landmass, many SIDS do not have large watersheds and catchment areas that allow for extensive surface water-bodies or large underground sources of water. Pressure on water supplies is compounded by economic activities, such as tourism, urbanization, coastal area development, agriculture, and mining. The impact of growing demands for water combined with decreasing availabilities of water resources poses a great challenge to the sustainable development of small islands.

In response, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has funded a full sized project to support six Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of which two are located in the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Verde and Sao Tome & Principe) and four are located in the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles).

The IWRM AIO SIDS project aims to implement integrated cross sectorial water resource management initiatives and to contribute to sustainable development in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean SIDS through improvements in natural resource and environmental management. It is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services UNOPS.

Check out the photo gallery of the event.